Christmas Novena Chaplet


I had been desiring some accountability for the Christmas novena, a vital part of my family’s Advent plan.  I was inspired by Summer via Elizabeth’s post .  Additional inspiration came from Jennifer at Family Feast and Feria

The chaplets are easy to make.  In fact, I’m sure most of us have the supplies on hand.

I opted to attach a prayer card (that can be found here) so that it was always accessible.  The prayer card is small enough to fit into a pocket but big enough to read without a magnifying glass – no excuses!


We made the chaplets using the same techniques as St. Therese’s Sacrifice Beads.  The instructions can be be found here. 

supplies - chaplet


  • ribbon or thread
  • beads
  • scissors
  • optional:

sweetie crafting


  • cut ribbon to the desired length
  • string the beads on using the technique shown hereribbon
    • tape the ends of the ribbon prior to lacing  

St, Andrew Christmas Novena

This is how the chaplets will look without the prayer card.

  • optional:


    • print/cut prayer card
    • hole punch top of card
    • lace the card with the remaining ribbon from the chaplet
    • tie of the ribbon

 Christmas Novena Chaplet with prayer card

May this meditative prayer help us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.

Sweetie’s Finger

Sweetie sliced her finger while assisting Rose in the kitchen. Initially she was a bit dramatized. Dad to took her to the urgent care nearby our house.  Rose accompanied Sweetie at her request.  I stayed seated the entire time, praying to not pass out.

Sweetie managed to get her finger glued up and is back to her normal self.

lexi's thumb  IMG_5280 work of art

Papi declared her bloody wrap, “A work of art.”

Thirty-One Gifts - ONLINE Christmas Shopping & Giveaway

I'm hosting an online Thirty-one Gifts shopping party for Christmas on my FB page and blog. 

Thirty-one online shopping extravaganza - JOYfilledfamily button

Take advantage of shopping from your seat not your feet! This month you can chose one of 5 great items for just $5 when you spend $31 on regular priced merchandise. JUST in time for Stuffing Christmas Stockings!

December deals v1December Special 2

Shopping starts Nov. 30 (the Feast of St. Andrew) and ends on Dec. 8 (Immaculate Conception of the BVM).

My favorite product is the organizing utility toProduct # 3105 organizing utility totete.  I use it for my homeschooling daily stash.  It helps tremendously since I have a school office upstairs and downstairs.  Also, it comes in handy when I want to take my work on the go.  The tote has plenty of storage options and it’s durable!

All of my children will soon (as in Christmas) have their very own utility tote with their name embroidered on the bag front.  No more excuses why their school work is scattered in several different storage locations. 

Check-out more Christmas Gift ideas here.

Order directly from me via phone/email/website.  Post comments to share your favorite product and/or ideas to be entered to win additional gifts!  More details are listed below.

10% of all profits from sales will be donated to charities.  Please feel free to share your desired charity/cause.

Thanks for your support.  Prayers for a blessed Advent!


Visit my site here to place an order.

If you prefer, you can email me your order or request a phone call.


1. The first person that places an order wins a prize!
2. Each person that comments with their favorite Thirty-one product and/or an idea of how they use (or will use) a Thirty-one product will be entered into a drawing for a prize.  
3.  Earn another entry for a giveaway if you share this invite (via email/blog/FB).  Post a comment here to let me know you have shared the invite.  One comment/entry for each share.
4. Anyone who spends $75 or more will automatically receive a bonus gift!

All winners will be selected at random.

The online gift shop will close on December 8th - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM (at 5p.m.), so please post your ideas and place your orders by then!

Want FREE and discounted Thirty-one product for your home? Host a Facebook party or home shopping party and receive all sorts of great host benefits!! Contact me for more info!

Start Your {Christmas} Novena

This is a repost from last year to serve as a reminder.
Starts on November 30 (St. Andrew’s Feast Day) ~ Ends on December 24 (Christmas Eve)
I created a printable novena card. You may print and share, freely.
Christmas Novena Front and BackChristmas Novena Front and Back v2
The following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas.
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)
+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897
May this meditative prayer help us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.



Dad celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday during the week of Nov. 18.  That's right, in addition to declaring Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 a first class feast day, he claimed the entire week. 


His birthday meal (which never changes) consisted of tiramisu cake, baked chicken parmesan, and salad with homemade dressing.

We have all fallen in love with a new version of the traditional parmesan chicken.  I plan to share, soon.


He was showered in gifts.  The cutest gift was that which was initiated by Papi.  Papi thought long and hard about what to get Dad.  He was convinced that Dad wanted a new movie.  But it wasn't just any movie, it was.....VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables

We were unable to get away as we did last year for his birthday.  We made the best of it and created a weekend in.  My sis invited the kids to spend the night so Dad and I could go out and relax as we chose.  It was a carefree weekend with only the two of us to focus on. 

We tackled our love envelope and reviewed our previous answers - covering our past, present and future in prayer. 

Mom & Dad 11.2012 PB201126 bob83v4

Thank you Lord for Dad and another year to grow closer to You, with him.

Thanksgiving Day

We hosted Dad's family at our home for Thanksgiving Day.


It was a lovely day with a simple menu filled with homemade, semi-paleo yumminess.

thanksgiving day menu

the menu was a free printable from TomKat

The house got cleaned, upstairs and downstairs.  My nesting is almost complete.

preparing for advent

I attended Adoration while Dad managed the home front and Dragonfly napped.


"The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life." ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas

We had an intimate dinner, covered in simplicity and thanksgiving.




Jesee Tree Ornament ~ Ruth

A symbol of God’s providence.

I created this ornament for the Jesse Tree Swap hosted by Jessica at Housewifespice. 


inspired from here

Ruth and Boaz (Symbol: sheaf of wheat)
Ruth 1:16; 2:2, 8, 10-12; 4:13-14 – RSV

But Ruth said [to Naomi], “Entreat me not to leave you or to return
from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you
lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God
my God.”

And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field,
and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall
find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” … Then Boaz
said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in
another field or leave this one, but keep close to my maidens.”

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him,
“Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice
of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that
you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your
husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and
mother and your native land and came to a people that you did
not know before. The Lord recompense you for what you have
done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of
Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife … and the Lord gave
her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to
Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without
next of kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel!”





  • Dried Wheat (JoAnn – $4.99/15)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Raffia



  • Soak the wheat stems in water (do not get the wheat head wet)
  • Remove the stems from the water, pat dry
  • Collect three like-sized wheat stalks to braid
  • Wrap the end of the braid to meet the start of the braid
  • Glue the braided stem into place (I also used a clear rubber band to secure the stem)
  • Trim and embellish as desired


Additional Meditation for this Reflection

found at Presentation Ministries

"Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God." —Ruth 1:16

Ruth the Moabite committed social suicide when she insisted on returning with her mother-in-law to Jerusalem after both of their husbands died. Being a foreigner, there was little chance for Ruth to be married and have a livelihood.

Prayer: Father, make me faithful in serving my brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how difficult the circumstances.


"May the Lord reward what you have done! May you receive a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come for refuge." —Ruth 2:12

The Lord rewarded Ruth's faithfulness by giving her protection and provision in leading her to glean in the fields of Boaz.

Prayer: Father, by my faithfulness to You, may I give You an opportunity to reward me.


"The neighbor women gave him his name, at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi. They called him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David." —Ruth 4:17

Ruth not only married Boaz; she also became the great-grandmother of David, from whose house came Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God. True victory, success, prosperity, and happiness are not attained by worldly means but by faithfulness to God and His people.

Prayer: Father, may I lose my life so I can gain it (Lk 9:24).


Be like Ruth. Stay with your Redeemer. Abandon your life into the hands of Jesus.

Jesse Tree Resources

Bare Jesse Tree 2012
The Jesse Tree represents Jesus’ family tree.  It takes us through that first long Advent, which lasted from the Fall to the Incarnation with a collection of Scripture meditations to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas.
Here are some FREE Jesse Tree resources that I have found helpful and/or plan to incorporate this year.  There are a few resources for purchase listed at the end of this post.
I am excited to have my first non-paper ornament Jesse Tree this year, thanks to Jessica at Housewifespice.   Jessica coordinated a Jesse Tree Ornament Swap this year and I was blessed to be able to participate.  I hope to share my ornaments here once they arrive.
My Jesse Tree is a transformed faux lemon tree, courtesy of my boys. 
***UPDATE*** a tutorial for my ornament can be found here.
Jesse Tree Scripture Printables -
Homemade Jesse Tree Ornaments
Jesse Tree Ornaments to Print/Color
O Antiphons
Jesse Tree Books to Purchase
Jesse Tree Ornaments to Purchase
An Intentional Advent 
Peace in the Preparations: Advent 2012 Collection



Putting Our Faith into Action

Alicia Van Hecke has created a wonderful list to remind us that we must put our faith into action, 100 Things You Can Do to the Make the Country More Pro-Life (and Catholic) No Matter Who is President.  You can read her list and suggest updates at her blog, Living Differently.


100 Things You Can Do to the Make the Country More Pro-Life (and Catholic) No Matter Who is President

Not trying to get into a political discussion here, just an opportunity to remind ourselves what we are capable of regardless of the political situation. A list in progress (in no particular order), please share your own Pray for Americasuggestions in the comments box...

1. Respond with Love.
2. In particular, keep the post-election conversations charitable.
3. Have children (and read about "The Roe Effect").
4. Support cool pro-life organizations like Save the Storks.
5. Talk to people. Keep it simple. Don't try to fix everything at once.
6. Work on your prayer life and your relationship with God.
7. Watch how you talk about other people - especially people you don't like.
8. Support the disabled.
9. Recognize what is good in others (and in our country and in our culture) and thank God.
10. Cut back on expenditures to share with others.
11. Donate to a pregnancy help center (a car seat or even a baby blanket can save a life).
12. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, food pantry or other outlet for the needy.
13. Live your life as a reaction to Christ's love for you, not a reaction to the culture or the current political situation.
14. Live what you believe.
15. Pray for our politicians and for our country.
16. Remember that it's not all up to you - you just need to do your part with love and leave the rest up to God.
17. Make friends with people outside your political or religious circles.
18. Cultivate joy in your family and in your community.
19. Adopt a baby or become a foster parent.
20. Help your parish become more life friendly.
21. Encourage each other!
22. Be Not Afraid!
23. Sponsor a needy child overseas (through organizations such as Caritas for Children).
24. Challenge yourself to be a better Christian.
25. Forgive someone who has hurt you.
26. Be a good witness to the Faith.
27. Love those who are suffering.
28. Donate your used belongings to organizations like St. Vincent de Paul Society.
29. Don't just vote pro-life: think pro-life and act pro-life (to every person you encounter!).
30. Don't despair at what is going wrong with our world - find what you can make better (and do it!).
31. Empower others with hope.
32. Stock your car with "Blessing Bags" to give to the needy.
33. "Replace Them".
34. Love Your Neighbor.
35. Share your gifts with others.
36. Be understanding, loving and helpful to those who have gotten themselves in desperate situations.
37. Cultivate hope in your own life.
38. Donate uplifting books about children with Down Syndrome (or other disabilities) to your public library.
39. Visit the lonely, the sick, and the elderly.
40. Tutor a disadvantaged or special needs child.


Consecration of America
Immaculate Mary, most Holy Mother of God and of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we the people of the United States of America at this historic moment stand before you in a humbled condition of love, loyalty,
affection, and thankfulness. To your Immaculate Heart we recommit and dedicate ourselves throughout the entire American nation. To your Son Jesus Christ we pledge to serve His teaching, His church, and to work for His kingdom on earth. O Mary, to you do we flee for protection. Surround the American family with your maternal care; enfold us in your arms. Give to this American land, built on the blood and tears of so many faithful forebears, a peaceful and praiseworthy existence in truth, love, justice, and freedom. O Mary, we submit to you as the Patroness of our beloved country. O Mary, Help of Christians, enfold the Holy Father and the Catholic Church within your protective cloak; be our shield in the days ahead. Give to the Church true holiness and freedom. Obtain for our leaders holy zeal, the ability to face the truth, and the courage to correct all abuses. Stop the flood of atheism, greed, heresy, impurity, lukewarmness, materialism, and selfishness that threaten our nation. Show to those who have strayed from the Church the way to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mother of God, accept our personal consecration to you and, through you, bind us forever to the Holy Trinity. Gather us all into your Immaculate Heart and unite us forever with Jesus. O Mary, we love you. Amen.
God Bless America!

Fall Bake Sale

Here is a picture recap of RMGS Fall Bake Sale.

RMGS Fall Bake Sale 2012 logo

RMGS Bake Sale flyer v2 landscape

from the home front.


pumpkin cleaning JOY




bake sale in full action.




RMGS Bake Sale JOY

Our Lady of the Mystical Rose, pray for us!


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